Congrats! Shoe repair man's son, graduate with the highest award - Summa cum laude!

CEBU CITY -- Despite poverty, a shoe repairman's son will graduate from college on Saturday, March 25, with the highest award, Summa Cum Laude. Jireh Bautista, 21-year-old Computer Science student at Cebu Institute of Technology University (CIT-U), is the fourth child of Pantaleon, cobbler for 38 years now, and Belinda, a homemaker.

On March 16, Jireh was recognized as Presidential Awardee for Academic Excellence during the 2017 Parangal, an annual tradition in CIT-U where student-achievers are acknowledged.

In his speech, Jireh said there is more to life than graduating with honors. "Yes, graduating with honors may sound so overwhelming and is such a great achievement. But academics and school only take a portion of your entire life. It might give you an edge if you did well but there is more to life and you should not feel sad or less of yourself if you are not part of the honor list. What truly matters is your life story," he said.

"You might be struggling now with a number of things – school or even financial struggles or your relationships or problems within the family. But what make a great testimony are not literally the achievements but the amazing stories of integrity, of breakthroughs over your struggles and of victories over your hardships. So what then is your life story to tell?

To your future children? To the next generations to come? We are all recipients of God’s tremendous blessings," he added.

Jireh told SunStar Philippines that he was blessed to have scholarships from the Department of Science and Technology (Dost), Cebu City Government, Real Life Foundation of Victory Christian Fellowship, and Cebu City National Science High School Batch 1977. He is also an academic scholar of CIT-U.

His four siblings are also scholars.

"Dili gyud mi maka-eskwela tanan if walay scholarships (We wouldn't be able to go to school if not for the scholarships)," he said. [Read more: SunStar]
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  1. Sulit ang hirap ng paghahanap buhay ng kanyang ama at nataguyod na mabigyan gandang kinabukasan kanyang anak.